Location: Gili Islands, Indonesia
Today was our first day to explore the quaint island of Gili. After eating some banana bread and cereal we got divided into two groups. The first half went with Tor and Carolyn to dive and the other half had a free day. Being part of the first group I got my BCD, mask, snorkel, and fins ready to put in the dingies. We met at the dive shop at 9:15 to fill out some paper work and get organized into our dive groups. We then headed out to the shops boat, loaded all the equipment onboard and made our way out to shark point. For some of use this was our first dive towards becoming an advanced open water diver. A few others acquired their last dive and became advanced open water divers. This was the naturalist dive, the requirements for this dive were to observe the life down in the watery environment. To show we met the naturalist requirements we had to record three vertebrates, three invertebrates, and three plants or algae. During our first dive we saw three turtles, one of which was quite large. We also saw some octopus, nudibranchs, and an eel or two. Between our first and second dive we had a little bit of time to go wander the main strip to find some lunch. Max and I asked the dive instructors were to get some food, and we got directed to a street vendor who had various choices. We decided on a meal of rice, noodles, some veggies, and fish, all of which was rolled up into a cone of parchment paper. After lunch we returned to the dive shop for our second dive, which took us to a steep shelf drop off. The highlight of this dive was seeing a cuttlefish, camoflauging with the soft coral beneath it. Back on the boat after dinner we had a watch team pumpkin carving competition in preparation for Halloween tomorrow. People got pretty in to it, and in the end we had one pirate pumpkin, a pumpkin person with a hair bow, and a fancy shark and squid work of art.